“Look for the bare necessities; The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities; Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That bring the bare necessities of life”
This eco village retreat, is a pleasant two hour’s drive from Indiranagar. When the GPS said we had only about 2 km to go we came upon a large barren stretch of land, abutting the increasingly bumpy road. Just as we began to wonder if we were lost, we saw the beautiful grasslands, “the last surviving open grasslands that are wintering grounds for migratory birds”, according to Our Native Village, Bangalore. The breathtaking view more than compensated for the drive through the rough patch!
As we drove up to the gate, the guard promptly guided us to the parking lot and the staff helped us unload our bags. We walked up to the reception counter and were greeted with a unique, much required welcome drink. In the reception area the design essayed simplicity – slender brick columns and a brickwork counter designed with clean lines set amidst lush green surroundings. The resort has around 22 family rooms, each room has different styles of art work on their walls. Arriving as we did around 12 noon, check-in time, we still had some time to kill before lunch. So we put away our luggage and set off to wander around the beautiful property.
The room had a comfortable homely feel to it – simple, spacious and very clean. The only furniture apart from the bed was a narrow table and chair with a matka filled with drinking water and a glass. The spartan arrangement gave us enough room to put away all the bags and paraphernalia we mums carry and still leave enough over for the kids to play around without fear of bumping into things.
The bed had a neat design twist with a wide step/ledge along one edge that could accommodate a soft and comfortable mattress for the kids. This alleviated any worries that the kids, would roll off and injure themselves at night, especially my daughter who was an infant at that time. The earthen walls, terracotta tiled floor and large windows added to the rustic feel while also keeping the room pleasant and cool. Our room also had a small balcony overlooking the open ground below. The bathroom presented a pretty picture with the basic amenities like soap and shampoo, organic and free of any chemicals, laid out on a terracotta soap dish.
While talking to the staff as we were settling in, we learnt that not only do they generate their own electricity from solar panel arrays, but also the water supply is from a rain water harvesting system. Our Native Village truly stands by their concept of being an eco-friendly resort.
Eating and Drinking
The restaurant is fairly large and partially open from either side. It was pleasant to breathe in the fresh air; a scarce commodity in the city, as we chomped down on our food. Their specialty is authentic Carnatic cuisine, but they also offer a few regular pan-Indian dishes. The food is laid out buffet-style with rotis served fresh and hot at the table. This was the first time any of us had experienced completely organic food and it was just delicious!
On either side of the restaurant are a few small tables with chairs and benches for seating. Some of the tables were set up with games like snakes and ladders, ludo and chess, highly appropriate for 4 years and above. This helps keep them occupied while you eat. To one side of the open restaurant is a well manicured lawn. The other side of the restaurant hosts a small bar and a bonfire area.
Food for kids
Being an eco-friendly restaurant they serve organic food that they grow on their own farm. The food is oil-free, spice-free, natural and very healthy, food most of us mothers wish our children could eat every day.
The staff is very friendly with extremely positive attitudes towards the kids. They even offered to babysit till we finished our meal which was a real blessing. Though they do prefer not to serve any dairy products; however they did accommodate our request for a glass of milk for our little one.
Why kids will love it
The farm animals
Our Native Village brings the stuck-in-your-head earworm, but the kids-can’t-get-enough-of-it nursery rhyme ‘Old Mc Donald had a farm’ to life with real live props! Spread over the grounds are roosters and chicken running around, a few dogs and cats lazing about, a pair of horses munching on hay and a small shed filled with mooing cows. You could even milk the cows if you wanted to! All this thrown in definitely, took us back in time to the traditional old village life. For the kids, it was entirely new, and they enjoyed being a part of that world.
The organic pool/ natural pool
The organic pool is a child’s delight; partly covered in natural moss and also populated by a few tiny fish. After a hearty meal we were a bit loathe to change into bathing suits, so we decided to chill by the pool on the “charpoy’s” that were laid out. Truly relaxing bliss! My husband dozed off for a bit while my son happily splashed water all around; a perfect summer day.
Rustic childhood pleasures
At one end of the resort grounds was a large tower that the kids enjoyed climbing up and down. As we were standing around watching the kids, one of the staff members enthusiastically ran towards to us with colourful kites and manjas. This instantaneously lit up my husband’s eyes as he essentially grew up flying kites! It was great for him to relive and introduce his childhood pastime to our son. While the two of them were occupied with the kites the rest of us tried our hand at other village activities like catapulting small stones at dangling can targets. Spinning tops and cycle tyre racing were also a big hit with not just the kids, but us grown-ups too!
The bullock cart ride
After a round of tea and snacks in the evening we were escorted to our “chariot” – a bullock cart waiting up front! We climbed aboard and took off for a short excitement filled ride. Now when was the last time you got to do that?
The night life
Just before the kid’s bedtime, we decided to take a stroll. Our torch light obsessed son insisted on taking one along with him and it turned out to be a brilliant idea. As we walked along the pathway we could hear the croaking sounds of little frogs jumping around all over the place.
My son quickly pulled out his torch and ran off on a treasure hunt looking for them. Pretty soon he too was jumping around like a little frog; a sight I still can’t get out of my head.
The clear night sky was a treat for our light-pollution weary eyes. Without the noise and dust of traffic it was hard to believe that we were still in Bengaluru!
Why my pet loved it
The facility is pet friendly and it’s ok to leave your pet unleashed at times, to explore the grounds. However pets are not allowed in the restaurant area and it is preferred to have them on a leash during meal times, which is understandable.
Misty found a small muddy pool by the tower to amuse herself with jumping in and out of. Though she was making a mess of herself, we were happy that she was enjoying herself on her first holiday. After giving her few hours we decided it was time for a bath; and what a bath it was! We were guided towards the back of the property to a small cow shelter where we were handed a long hose pipe to wash the dog down with. The kids were most amused with Misty’s bath amongst a dozen mooing cows!
Why you will love it
We found Our Native Village presented a unique getaway for all of us. We were immersed in a lifestyle which is far removed from our daily routine. The warmth and love we received from the entire staff gave us all (including Misty) that great feeling of being at home (or of never having left at all!)
This was only our first experience here; we have visited them twice again on the demands of my son. Not only did Our Native Village bring us back to our roots, it weaved its magic around my kid too. It brings a huge smile to my face every time my son says, “Mama, when are we going to our other home?”
- Drinking water is stored in earthen matkas in the room in keeping with their eco friendly concept. Feel free to carry a few extra bottles of water just in case your tummies aren’t up to braving it.
- Do carry your choice of spirits if you’d like to enjoy a few drinks. The restaurant bar serves a small selection of wines.
- Though they do fumigate the rooms well to clear them of any insects or mosquitoes and the windows are fitted with insect screens, do pack mosquito/insect repellent. It better to be prepared for the nights or time spent outdoors.
- If you are a non vegetarian, do let them know in advance. They prefer to serve all vegetarian food.
- If you plan to visit in winter it does get very cold so pack appropriate sweaters, shawls and jackets.
- Do be careful around the mossy organic pool as it can be a little slippery.
- We recommend you book your stay either with the resort directly or via www.lifeisoutside.com
- Please note that your booking will be guaranteed only on full receipt of the payment.
- Each room accommodates either 2 adults and 2 children or 3 adults plus 1 child.
- Cost for an extra adult will be 20% less on actuals.
- All activities are charged extra, unless they are mentioned in your package.
- Please do check their website for further details on cost of rooms.